Successful treatment of post chemotherapy esophageal cicatricial atresia in a pediatric patient with anaplastic large cell lymphoma through minimally invasive esophagectomy: a case report

Surg Case Rep. 2021 Feb 5;7(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s40792-021-01108-8.


Background: Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a CD30-positive T-cell lymphoma, which is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. ALCL rarely presents in the gastrointestinal tract, and the esophageal involvement in of ALCL is extremely rare.

Case presentation: An 11-year-old boy who complained of abdominal pain and cough was diagnosed with ALK-positive ALCL on the basis of systemic lymphadenopathy findings and immunohistochemistry results of pleural effusion. Although remission was observed after chemotherapy at 5 months after diagnosis, dysphagia persisted, and esophagoscopy revealed a severe stricture in the middle thoracic esophagus. At 9 months after diagnosis, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation was performed to ensure that complete remission was maintained; however, dysphagia and saliva retention did not improve. Approximately 10 months after diagnosis, esophagoscopy revealed a blind end in the middle thoracic esophagus, similar to that in congenital esophageal atresia. Subsequently, we performed minimally invasive subtotal esophagectomy under thoracoscopy and laparoscopy and gastric conduit reconstruction via the retrosternal route more than 2 years after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. The final pathological diagnosis was esophageal atresia with esophagitis, with no malignancy. During postoperative evaluation, the patient required swallowing training for a few months, although no major complications were noted. Oral intake was possible, and complete remission was maintained at 14 month post-surgery.

Conclusions: Oncologists must consider the possibility of acquired esophageal cicatricial atresia as a complication during chemotherapy for ALCL. If esophageal obstruction or esophageal atresia occur and if remission is maintained, esophagectomy and esophageal reconstruction are useful treatment options for maintaining oral intake.

Keywords: Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Anaplastic large cell lymphoma; Anaplastic lymphoma kinase; Esophageal atresia; Esophageal obstruction; Esophageal stricture; Esophagectomy.